Deuba visit cancelled as India postpones Gujarat summitEvent deferred in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases in the Indian state, Indian media report.
The government has cancelled Prime Minister Sher Deuba’s visit to India after India’s Gujarat state government postponed the Vibrant Gujarat Summit amid rising Covid-19 cases, just four days before its kickoff.
The Gujarat government has announced that it has postponed the Vibrant Gujarat investor summit due to a rise in Covid-19 cases in the state, Indian media reported .
The summit had attracted interest in Nepal as Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba was all set to participate in the event.
“Since the Gujarat Summit has been postponed, the visit of the Prime Minister has been canceled,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sewa Adhikari.
Though the visit of the prime minister has been postponed for now, a lot of groundwork has been done by both sides so sooner or later there is a chance of the prime minister visiting India, according to the officials.
“Both sides had made preparations to sign around eight memorandums of understanding in various sectors,” a senior Foreign Ministry official said, adding, “We should not let go of this momentum and we should continue working on the prime minister’s visit to India.”
As per an itinerary provided by Nepali officials in Kathmandu and New Delhi, Deuba was to leave for India on Sunday—to Delhi and then Gujarat.
Both Kathmandu and Delhi were preparing to jointly announce Deuba’s visit to India.
There has been no official statement on the status of Deuba’s visit. Officials, however, said if the event in which the prime minister was to participate has been postponed, the visit is unlikely to happen.
This summit, to be inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was slated to be held on January 10.
India for the past few days has been reporting an exponential rise in coronavirus cases.
India’s new Covid-19 cases soared to 90,928 in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Thursday, from 58,097 a day earlier, according to Reuters.
Daily deaths rose by 325, taking the total to 482,876. Total infections are at 35.11 million.
Khadka, Jaishankar hold phone conversation
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka and his Indian counterpart, S Jaishankar held a telephone conversation on Thursday. Both Foreign Ministers exchanged New Year greetings and discussed bilateral issues.
The two foreign ministers exchanged best wishes on the occasion of New Year 2022 and expressed the hope for a better and a prosperous year ahead, a Foreign Ministry statement said.
“Matters related to the bilateral exchange of visits and the progress made in the implementation of development projects and post-earthquake reconstructions were discussed during the occasion.The Foreign Minister of Nepal thanked the External Affairs Minister of India for the continued support and cooperation extended to Nepal, including in the fight against the Covid pandemic,” the statement added.
The two foreign ministers agreed to continue conversation on areas of cooperation between the two countries, according to the foreign ministry statement.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister of India, Jaishankar also tweeted about his meeting with Khadka.
“Just finished a New Year call with FM Dr. Narayan Khadka of Nepal. Was an opportunity to recognize progress on so many fronts. Our Development Partnership and Covid collaboration have been noteworthy. Agreed to broaden the vistas of our cooperation,” Jaishankar tweeted Thursday.
Both foreign ministers also expressed regret over the postponement of the visit of the prime minister to Gujurat.